The only constant is change.
There is a cyclical nature to each year I teach.
The year begins with hope. New kids, new preps, and an opportunity to make the year better than the last. That is September. By the end of October, I start counting the days to the first official holiday (13) or I make sure to take a “personal” day to rejuvenate and remind me that I will make it to the holiday season. The holiday season provides many opportunities to rest and teaching in between days off keeps me focused and motivated. Then we hit the long haul… the time between the last break in February to Spring Break. The familiar sense of exhaustion settles back in until we finish the testing season and the excitement for the end of the year swells.
There are many things that remain the same each school year.
There are many things that change.
I worry about the future of the teaching profession. We are tired. Demands that come from the everyday grind combined with the implementation of all that is new contribute to us being tired. I ask myself if I really am any more tired this year than in past years. Maybe I just forgot how hard the year can get? But conversations with colleagues show me I am not alone in these feelings.
A colleague posted a social media status about the exhausting day to day existence that comes with teaching. I was disappointed to read the announcement because of the negative connotation I read into the post. Several other colleague’s and teachers responded with similar sentiments and complaints. I get that we like to vent. I get that we want to know that others feel the same way. For me, the concerns expressed are a warning siren.
My worry is that many of the good teachers will give up… decide that this profession is too hard… consider doing something else…. Or worse, stop being a good teacher. Teachers need to protect themselves and work smarter, not harder. But that is easier said than done! Right now, I just want to encourage them to stay on the bus.
I hope that there will always be dedicated individuals willing and able to live the teaching lifestyle. I hope there continues to be curious students that want to inquire, discover and learn. Every year I have students I enjoy and those I cannot wait to move on from my class. But all my students deserve the best of me as much as I can give it. I want my students to continue to learn and to find inspiration beyond my classroom to keep going.
There have been years where I felt like I was the driver of the bus. Leading, guiding, in charge. This year, I feel like a passenger. Holding on, strapped in, traveling but not going anywhere.
The bus may travel the same road but the road is never quite the same. With each pass and every journey small changes are evident. You may notice a new pothole, smooth out a familiar bump or sometimes rejoice in the re-paving of the road.
Sameness. Change. Exhaustion. Exhilaration. Worry. Hope. Teach and learn. The Wheels on the Bus go ‘round and ‘round’.